This week I gave a talk that spanned Windows Intune, Windows Azure and Office 365 integration, here’s a summary of what was discussed, based largely on audience questions

The licensing changes to Windows Intune as well as the per user licensing model were the first topic covered, and how being part of the Server and Tools business rather than being in the Windows business were what allowed these to happen. The System Center Configuration Manager 2012 integration was also discussed, and reinforced the message about some of the best cloud solutions also having an on-premise element.

Then it was on to a quick display of the changes to the Windows Intune administration portal, showing how Windows RT, Windows 8 Phone and iOS were now independent of the on-premise Exchange server to deliver MDM via Exchange Active Sync. I showed the app deployment options with packages targeting each of those platforms, and also showed the new Windows 8 Company Portal app for self service application installation.

I spent a short amount of time discussing the way that Windows Intune leverages the peer caching capabilities inside of Windows 7 and Windows 8 Pro upwards to minimise internet bandwidth requirements, while simultaneously speeding up deployments to the other machines in the subnet. I really need to keep a few running VMs in a state where I can show this, as it’s easy to explain what’s going on as it happens.

One of the items that I raised and showed the supporting KB for was the issue of customers having multiple Azure based AD services with Microsoft if they had licensed Office 365 through Telstra (in Australia, other 3rd party billers in other geographies), and then purchased Windows Intune from Microsoft. Unfortunately there hasn’t been a date communicated to address this, and while it can be worked around, it’s not what I would classify as an elegant solution.

Next up I spent some time showing some of the Azure VM capabilities, highlighting the ease with which VMs could be deployed, and how usage and billing could be monitored. It was highlighted that those who are Microsoft partners should make sure they activate their Azure rights.

Thanks to everyone in attendance, it was great to have so many questions at the end of the day when most people are starting to switch off.